A Vision of the World
Well, I’m not famous and the subject matter is broad. So let’s begin with what’s not.
A person of no fixed abode, stranded by the pandemic and no longer tied to a news organization, after 30 years in the industry — an escapee from the heart of the beast: humanity intact.
That editor hunched over a keyboard was really the kid that grew up in Brazil in the 1960s, a country seething under military dictatorship, the teenager who watched the revolution in Grenada, whose family ate pizza beneath the whitewashed walls of Mogadishu before the fall, the twenty-something who heard the fado singer’s lament as Portugal slipped back into the mists of legend.
In those countries I made friends like birds on the wing. We dispersed, I to the news business where I thought my experience might be useful as a journalist. And yet… as actors say with finality. I found that the world’s biggest news orgs little interest in what you knew of a country. They are all about the process. It’s as they can’t reflect the world without capturing themselves in the lens: their reporting has a touch of the selfie. If my independent points of reference were a hindrance to these news giants, they served me well in my years as a news editor and executive producer in television agencies and broadcasters around the world.
What people are not doing is planting their feet firmly on the ground to gain a perspective of what’s going on around them. In the third decade of the 21st century governments want us to accept hope and change but they’re increasingly vague about their obligations.
Relativism begins by telling you that truth and morality are flexible. It ends with the words: “you’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.”
You, in contrast, are here because you have taken the measure of our varied lands not as a prescription broadcast by a news outlet that acts as an agent of influence for vested interests but on the evidence of your own senses.
There is no need to score political points nor to be always right. The two-party paradigm is broken. We reject the false duality of the lesser of two evils. The perspective is personal, the tone objective. The best view is often close to the ground.
The tone will be familiar to those who miss the 20th century novel, when authors were unafraid to tread new ground and describe the world as they saw it. Politics, in all its vicarious grime, must never escape the writer’s scourge. Cultures must stand or fall by their own achievements: as they have throughout history. Relativism gets short shrift.
Subscribe and we’ll journey together
Each day I’ll bring clarity and sense to the world — or at least, to your inbox.
Lacking magic or foresight, my job for decades has been to labour in a newsroom and assign jobs based on a hazard at the next day’s headlines. How so? I had to prise the news out of correspondents and tease the story from their scripts. That’s how we refine the sixth sense. I hope that with feedback from you, we can chart a path ahead.
How you can support my work
I cut loose from the media and I live by my wits. This really is a last-chance saloon in more ways than one. We need the alternative media to thrive. I have thrown in my lot.
Your support puts food on my table and I hope my reporting brings sustenance to you.
Alongside this newsletter I blog at Moneycircus and post on a number of forums. I support the free exchange of ideas, especially in a perilous season when we cannot count how much time remains. Share yours with me.
Sign up to receive insights and analysis every morning.